Just curious.. chickens who have been vaccinated for marrek's.. can they still be "meat birds?"

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by undine, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. undine

    undine Chirping

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    My chicks have been vaccinated for marreks and im wondering if they can still be eaten. Im not planning on butchering my flock though.. just if one bird gets out of hand i might have to resort to it =(
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    You can eat them. That vaccine does not affect the meat at all.
     
  3. ijon

    ijon Songster

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    What does a bird with marreks act like, and do they die?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    There are different forms of Marek’s. Here is a pretty good write-up on it.

    http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf

    There’s one part in the article that requires careful reading. It says up to 60% of the birds in the flock can be affected. That means that 40% or more will not be affected, so no, not all will necessarily die.

    Another part of that is that the 60% or less being affected is an average. You have to have enough chickens for the averages to mean much. In a small flock that number could be much smaller or much higher, even all the way to 100%.

    Something else it says in the first paragraph is that all birds have been exposed. You’d expect from that statement that chickens would be dropping dead all the time from Marek’s. That doesn’t happen. There are a tremendous number of flocks where you never see any signs of Marek’s. When I first moved here I spoke with one of the people that investigates chicken diseases in this area. He said that there had been one confirmed case of Marek’s in my county in the previous two years. I realize not all cases are reported and confirmed, but one confirmed case in two years does not sound like an epidemic here. Where you are that might be totally different.

    Something else not mentioned. Different types of Marek’s are prevalent in different areas. In my area, I’d expect to see the type that causes leg and wing problems. In other areas, neck problems will show up a lot more. Each area is different.
     

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